May 8, 2020

Asterix & Obelix: The Heroes We Still Love

Asterix & Obelix

When you think about heroes what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Someone like Indiana Jones? Or maybe some of the Marvel superheroes? James Bond maybe? Or perhaps Ellen Ripley? How about Asterix & Obelix?

That’s right. They were my childhood heroes, and I guess to so many of you as well. First and foremost I have to thank my mom (hi mom) for introducing me (and my younger sister) to Asterix & Obelix.

Nostalgic childhood heroes

To be honest, we were just small pre-school kids when we started bonding with the adorable Gauls. The retro animated series was our gateway drug to Asterix & Obelix franchise. But frankly, that was just the beginning. Much later, I would spend my pocket money on the Asterix & Obelix comic book series. Lots and lots of comic books. So much so that I would get on my mom’s nerves, but hey… It was her fault. And it was not until the late 90’s when the first Asterix & Obelix live-action movie came out. But I’ll get to that later in this post.

However, there are several reasons for this post. Firstly, my humble attempt to honor the late Albert Uderzo. The co-creator and illustrator of Asterix & Obelix sadly passed away at the end of March. Secondly, there’s the Asterix & Obelix XXL 2: Mission: Las Vegum video game that’s currently on sale here at IndieGala, as part of the Microids Sale. And last but not least, just because I adore Asterix & Obelix.

Asterix & Obelix

Asterix & Obelix XXL 2: Mission: Las Vegum

What’s it all about? Well, Asterix & Obelix’s arch-enemy Julius Caesar, builds a theme park called Las Vegum, (an adorable parody of Las Vegas).

The theme park is, of course, another plan to conquer the Gaul, but they’ll not taking things lightly. Getafix- the village druid, however, swears loyalty to Caesar, and goes to Las Vegum. Moreover, both Asterix and Obelix then come to his rescue, but the mission will prove to be much difficult. Nevertheless, they’ll have the help of a Roman spy called Sam Shieffer (another adorable parody of Sam Fisher from the Splinter Cell series), and the mayhem will begin.

Las Vegum is divided into 6 zones, and aside from the aforementioned references, there are plenty more to come in the game. The Romans are vividly similar to other video game characters, and Caesar even calls Asterix- Mr. Anderson (a nod to the Matrix’s character Neo). Cool right?

Asterix & Obelix: What’s so special about them?

And not just about Asterix & Obelix. What’s so special about all of the Gauls in the tiny French village?

Well, I adored the fact that the entire village was united against the enemy. As a child who lived through her fair share of wars and occupations, I loved the closeness that the Gauls shared. I loved their patriotism and tight-knit way of life. In addition to their togetherness, the supernatural aspect of their strength was a nice touch I must admit.

When almost the entire Gaul territory is seized by Julius Caesar, this tiny village manages to fight off the invaders. Nobody knows that it’s due to a magic position, and I always loved the enemy’s reaction because of it.

Asterix & Obelix

However, there’s one thing that the live-action movies never managed to capture and eventually transfer to the silver screen. The humor. I can’t stress the importance of the humor enough! Every single one of the characters in Asterix & Obelix has a distinct sense of humor.

How should I put it delicately? It’s typically French and unapologetic about it. Based on a lot of tongue in cheek jokes, satire,  stereotypes, and a lot of puns. Sometimes raunchy and sometimes so ethnic that they’re reduced to a caricature. I still adore the specific type of humor to be perfectly so honest. And I was saddened to see that the live-action movies delivered so little of it. Oh, well… You can’t squeeze everything in 100 minutes of runtime.

Asterix & Obelix: The odd couple?

And of course in the center of the entire story are the titular characters. The Gaulish Dynamic Duo, if you will. Seems like they’re the polar opposites in almost every aspect, but they manage to function together famously.

They’re the perfect odd couple. One is short, slim, and smart; the other one is tall, obese, and rather dumb. But, they always try to overcome their shortcomings and try to work together for the sake of the villagers. Probably because of that, every villager puts their trust in their hands. Or should I say shenanigans?

But the thing is, that is why whey work so well, even now. Each of them utilize their strength in a different type of situation. In order to get the job done of course. And I must add that Asterix is by far my favorite character. What he lacks in stature, he makes up for in wit, intelligence, and unlike most of the villagers he doesn’t start a fight just because of it. Certainly, he has to be provoked in order to fight. And even when he is provoked, Asterix rarely uses weapons. 

His friendship with Obelix is one for the ages. And I also must admit, I adored how he was the voice of reason for Obelix on so many occasions. When Obelix was gluttonous and explosive, he was the cool and collected half of the dynamic duo. A true friend and partner in crime. In practically every sense of the word.

Asterix & Obelix

Asterix and Obelix vs. Caesar

I actually loved Asterix and Obelix vs. Caesar. I even saw it again, just a few months ago with some friends. Christian Clavier and Gérard Depardieu were phenomenal and I even liked the presence of Roberto Benigni. There is another 5th Asterix and Obelix movie currently in production and I can’t wait. Titled Asterix and Obelix: The Silk Road, unfortunately, doesn’t have a release date yet.

Your thoughts

What’s your opinion on the Asterix and Obelix franchise? Do you love it as much as I do? And what about the video game Asterix & Obelix XXL 2: Mission: Las Vegum? Tell us all about them in the comment section.

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